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Wind Farm Electric Savings
as Invisible as the Wind

Posted 05:30 PM HST, March 6, 2013

By Vanessa Wolf

From the mind of Donavita Quixota-Wolf:

File photo of Kaheawa Wind Farm at Maalaea on Maui. By Wendy Osher.

File photo of Kaheawa Wind Farm by Wendy Osher.

Sorry to bother you, but I’m in the midst of a great adventure: spreading chivalry, righting wrongs, and slaying beasts.

There’s something terrible here amongst us, and I need to gather others to the cause. I think you can help.

So here’s the story: I was recently in Ma’alaea and spotted an impressive and intimidating soldier-like formation of giants on the side of the Kaheawa Pastures.

Such horrors you cannot imagine!

After cowering in terror and gathering my thoughts safely inside the Maui Ocean Center, I came to a decision. As of today, I am gathering an army to rise against those giants. They must be stopped.

Dios mio, they will be stopped!

Wait? What? Why are you laughing at me?

Don’t you hear me? They might be giants.


They’re not windmills. Don’t kid a kidder, my friend.

Have you seen my electric bill? If there were windmills on this island I would know about it.

And I certainly wouldn’t have received a rate increase from MECO last summer. No, those are no windmills. Those are giants that need to be slain. We’ll feast on the bones!

What do you mean I’m “tilting at windmills”?

Hmmmm… Say what?

You may have a point. You certainly wouldn’t be the first to suggest I’m attacking an imaginary enemy.

That being the case, if I take you up on this madcap theory that those giants on the Kaheawa Pastures are actually windmills as you say, then I propose someone forgot to plug them in.

That’s right. I said it. I’m going there: clearly those suckers aren’t plugged in.

In fact, just to make my point, I’m going to do a little improv and share with you a new idiom I just made up right here, right now: “tilting at Maui windmills.” Go ahead and spread it around. It means “savings that are as invisible as the wind.”

It’s catchy, right?
Perhaps MECO should consider it as a slogan. “MECO: Tilting at Maui windmills.”

You can borrow it any time. In fact, the next time someone suggests you go with them to check out a “sale” at the Louis Vuitton in the Shops in Wailea, feel free to call their number. e.g. “I don’t think so, Kimo Sabe. That’s just tilting at Maui windmills.”

There will be no need to explain or argue the facts further, as you’ll both have no real choice but to shrug and laugh at two inarguable truths:

  1. When an item is already marked up 10,000%, it never really goes on sale.
  2. When an electric company continues to pass (3.16%  in June 2012) rate increases on to its customers, it’s getting kind of hard to believe all those windmills are actually plugged into something.

Meanwhile, you must excuse me.

I encountered a green, round-ish, slow-moving baby sea dragon swimming off Ulua the other day, and I promised to return and bring it some mochi balls.

The article above is purely intended for satirical purposes.

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Editor's Note:Maui Now is an open forum and we welcome any views. However, please apply your sense of aloha when posting comments - remarks that are unnecessarily offensive will be blocked.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000289423888 Chris Profio

    Yeah, I feel the same way – all these windmills here and there and whaddaya know – absolutely NO impact on my electric bill at all…

  • the bearer of the truth..

    as always nobody understands how an electric grid works, the companys that built the widmills are making a killing, not meco, im going to put out some numbers they are just as an example and not reality.
    1. it costs meco $.40 a kilowatt hour to generate power, they sell it to us at $.45
    2. it costs the wind power guys $.20 per kilowatt to generate.
    3. they know how much it costs meco to make power so they say “hey we will sell our power to you for $.38 a KW hour”.
    they do not have to pay for upkeep of the grid, customer service, dispatch, troblemen, all they do is sell power. on top of that meco is required by LAW, to back up with running generators that are not making power any “non firm” power producers. like the windmills, so WHEN THEY GO DOWN, and they do, your power stays on. so it costs meco even more.
    Also renewable energy was never intended as a “cheaper” way of making power, is actually cost more to make and without funds and tax breaks from the feds and state it would not be affordable for the builders.

  • Upcountry

    Who cut the deals for these windmill farms? And who, benefits from the deals?

    It would be cheaper for MECO to convert and import natural gas to the island than the short term and long term operating cost of these massive wind systems.

    We live on a dormant volcano, don’t you think there’s enough steady energy underneath us right now to sustain us long term than these intermittent output eyesores?

    It all goes back to money… Who got paid off to put those wind systems here? MauiNow do your job and track down who got paid off. Was it the Politicians, Unions for kick backs, MECO executives, etc..?

  • I love dis

    Ulupalakua ranch that has the windmills are renting the land space to make money.

  • ttomni6

    When you read the news stories about various rate increases (electric, water, sewer, etc.) here on Maui, you will often see a sentence that says the increases will also “pay to expand the existing systems”. These are the hidden costs of more development on Maui. Existing customers pay to enable the utilities to provide services to expanding subdivisions, etc.

    Go beyond utility costs. Many times a developer will include a school building in a new development. Great, but now it needs to be staffed. Hawaii has enough trouble finding good teachers for our existing schools plus, nobody wants to pay taxes to hire more personnel. Same goes for police and fire.

    Then, with extreme drought, it’s being suggested that water rates can go up above and beyond the proposed 5% per year.

    So with all these price increases, if anyone expects that it will cause our rates to decrease, I believe that’s pretty much a pipe dream. We are paying for growth. When you shop at the new megamalls or pass by Wailea 670 or any other new structures around the island, you can take solace to know that your rate increases are helping them to keep the lights on and the water flowing.

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